The Cincinnati Bengals are going to kick the tires on free agent linebacker A.J. Hawk.
After the Green Bay Packers released him in February, Hawk hasn't drawn much interest on the market, but that could be changing. Geoff Hobson reports Hawk and the Bengals will be meeting next week when free agency opens:
Hearing Bengals to visit with A.J. Hawk next week as they rate vet LB depth in free agency.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 6, 2015
It's interesting that Cincinnati has waited this long to visit with Hawk. Because he was cut by the Packers earlier in February, they could have visited with and even signed him since then.
The inside backer ranks No. 1 in Packers' history with 1,118 tackles and the move ends a nine-year run for Hawk in Green Bay; Hawk was the fifth overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft. His best season was when Green Bay made it to the Super-Bowl in 2010, when he was selected to his only Pro Bowl.
Since then, Hawks' play has slowly declined to the point where he was ranked No. 52 out of 60 eligible inside linebackers last year via Pro Football Focus.
Still, the former Ohio State Buckeyes All-American probably has enough left in the tank to be a suitable backup, and that would likely be his role in Cincinnati if a deal is struck.